Conspiracy theories are a constant source of fascination.
Whether it’s claims that the Moon landings were faked, that Adolf Hitler escaped to South America or that UFOs truly do exist, there’s no end to the number of weird and wonderful stories concerning life, the universe and everything.
But what about the one-time conspiracy theories that end up being true? What happens if all that paranoia actually proved to have some truth behind it?
Over on Reddit, people have been discussing a wide selection of notable conspiracy theories that ended up having more truth behind them than initially thought – here are 11 memorable examples.
Lance Armstrong and performance enhancing drugs.
At the time, everyone assumed the French were pissed an American dominated their race. Nope, there was a legitimate conspiracy to help Armstrong pass all those drug tests.
2008 housing market collapse
When people were predicting the 2008 housing market collapse they were generally made fun of.
The FBI spied on Martin Luther King Jr
The FBI keeping Martin Luther King Jr. under surveillance.
Basically, the CIA dosed people with huge doses of drugs, including LSD, amphetamines and barbituates just to sort of “see what would happen” and attempt to find truth serums and achieve mind control. They often did this without the subjects’ permission or knowedge, and often to prisoners and mental patients against their will. People died and lost their sanity. Agents even started dosing each other for kicks, one guy jumped out of a building to his death.
In one case, seven volunteers in Kentucky were given LSD for 77 consecutive days.
Another technique investigated was the intravenous administration of a barbiturate into one arm and an amphetamine into the other. The barbiturates were released into the person first, and as soon as the person began to fall asleep, the amphetamines were released. The person would then begin babbling incoherently, and it was sometimes possible to ask questions and get useful answers.
Other experiments involved morphine, temazepam (used under code name MKSEARCH), bufotenin , psilocybin, scopolamine, salvia divinorum, cannabis, alcohol, and sodium pentothal and Bromo-DragonFLY.
It was one of the most fucked up things the USA has ever done.
CIA importing cocaine
The CIA importing crack cocaine and distributing it in black neighborhoods.
The Chernobyl Disaster.
The Soviet Union publicly confirmed the accident in Chernobyl only after the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden recorded higher levels of radiation.
Here’s the defintion of a conspiracy:
A conspiracy is a secret agreement by people to commit something wrong or illegal.
Covering a nuclear disaster is wrong on many levels, thus it was a conspiracy. The Conspiracy Theory didn’t last long, though. The Soviet Union made the accident public right after the informations of the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant reached them.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident
The claim was that North Vietnam attacked first, but declassified NSA documents released in 2005 suggest it was the other way around.
The FBI spied on Ernest Hemingway
Later in his short life, Ernest Hemingway was noted to have grown extremely paranoid and talked about FBI spying on him. He was even treated with electroshock therapy, which fucked him up in more ways than one. It was later revealed that he was in fact watched, and Edgard Hoover personally placed him under survelliance.
Governments using bots
That governments have an array of bots and shills to push their POV across the world. Right now that Russia does it is widely accepted, some people deny the US being involved and yet the US has had technology for six years now to manipulate social media. Source
When people used to say that the government was spying on people everyone dismissed them as paranoid conspiracy theorist
But now with the whole Snowden/NSA fiasco, maybe we should have listened and tried to do something about it
The RMS Lusitania containing military supplies in WW1. The year I graduated from high school (I think that was 2009), it was still brushed off as a conspiracy theory by the textbook and the teacher, even after I asked her about the more recent discoveries. Now I look back at it, the whole book seemed to have a ‘USA good, Germans bad’ narrative, which kind of fits the old ‘dying breed’ generation of Dutch historians.
If you don’t know anything about the background of this event: A huge British sea liner (the Lusitania) was attacked by German submarines during world war 1. This was against the rules, since it was illegal to attack a non-military ship. The Germans however, said the ship container ammo and materials to produce ammo. The ship was hit by 1 torpedo, which caused a huge internal explosion and eventually sank the ship (who knows what really exploded there, but the torpedo alone could have been enough to sink the ship). 1200 of the approx. 1800 people on the ship died. There was a huge uproar in the UK and the US. The limitations on submarine warfare were tightened so much that eventually Germany in 1917 decided to throw the limitations on submarine warfare overboard (pun intended), which triggered the US to interfere in the war.
Don’t quote me on this, but I think the British government has always denied that there were stocks of ammo or explosives on the ship, except for some trivial amounts far away from where the torpedo hit. But in 1982, divers were warned by the government about explosives on board of the wreck. In 2009, divers found unexploded depth charges and hedgehog mines (which weren’t used until world war 2) around the wreck. They also found that the wreck is in a very bad state, even for a wreck. It looks like it has been bombed thoroughly, possibly to destroy remaining evidence.
Another one: The Donation of Constantine being forged. It’s a document which was supposedly written around 315CE by Constantine the great, transferring the power over the western roman empire to the pope. This was essentially the legal foundation upon which the Catholic church grew as powerful as it was/is. It wasn’t until the 15th century that someone found out that the document was fake. The Latin used in the document looked like something from the 8th century instead of the 4th.
This is not a conspiracy theory a lot of people know or care about. The catholic church has existed for over 1000 years, and it’s not going away because this document, in hindsight, turned out to be fake. The people that forged this document were dead and gone by the 15th century, let alone in 2017. But the fact remains that one of the most powerful instutions in history had been living a lie for centuries, and I bet any questioning the legitimacy of the document in those days would be brushed off as ‘bullshit conspiracy theory/heresy’ (and anyone doing this questioning would probably be right to fear for his life).
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.